Traditional (Child #19), arr. Calhoun, recorded on Telfer's Cows.
A folk version of the medieval romance of Orpheus, dating from middle of the14th century, collected from an old man in the Shetland Islands in the early 20th century. It pays to play the pipes.
There was a King lived in the East,
Green the wood grows early;
Who loved a lady in the West,
Where the hart runs yearly.
This king he to the West did ride,
And he brought home a comely bride.
Where the hart...
This king is to the hunting gone,
He left his lady all alone.
"Oh, I wish ye'd never gone away,
For your hall is filled with woe today.
The king o' Faerie with his dart,
Has pierced your lady to the heart."
The King then called his nobles all,
To guard her corpse within the hall,
But when the lords all fell asleep,
Her corpse out of the house did sweep.
The king is to the wildwood gone,
Till he with hair was overgrown.
When he had sat for seven years,
A company to him drew near.
Some did ride and some did run,
He spied his lady them among.
There stood a hall upon a hil,l
When they entered, all was still.
And after them the king has gone,
But when he came, t'was a grey stone.
Then he took out his pipes to play,
For his poor heart did pine away.
And first he played the notes o' noy,
And then he played the notes' o' joy.
And then he played a merry reel,
That might have made a sick heart heal.
There came a boy out of the hall,
"Ye're bidden come in among us all."
The king did enter in the hall,
And he went in among them all.
The king of faerie then did say,
"What shall we give thee for thy play?"
"For my play I will thee tell
I'll have my lady Isabel."
"Thy sister's son, unworthy thing,
Tomorrow shall be crowned king.
"Ye take your lady and go home,
And ye shall be king o'er all your own."
He took his lady and went home,
And now he's king o'er all his own.